I must admit, I was a little surprised when, on Tuesday, news came that Cleveland was chosen as the site of the 2016 Republican National Convention. THEN, on Friday, I was surprised again when LeBron James said he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers...four years after he announced to a worldwide television audience he was "taking his talents to South Beach".
Those two good things never seem to happen one right after the other. Especially not in Cleveland, where people are more accustomed to bad news on top of disappointments.
A prime example was in 1995. Just a few days after the Cleveland Indians-after having the best record in baseball that year-lost the World Series, Art Modell announced he was moving the original Browns to Baltimore.
I thought, frankly, Cleveland would lose out on the convention to the more metropolitan city of Dallas (which hosted the RNC in 1984), and LeBron, after playing the local and national media like a fiddle, would choose a larger NBA market than Cleveland, or remain in Miami.
So much for my cynicism. But there are still a few land mines in all this.
Interestingly, James latest "decision" could have an effect on when the convention would be held. The NBA Finals are held in June. If the Cavaliers make it that far in 2016, that might thwart plans for the Republicans to gather that month, as they're hoping for. Or, the Cavs might have to find another venue besides Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to call "home".
As for LeBron, he's signed an interesting contract deal: one which, depending on who you believe, allows him to "opt out" as soon as next year if things don't go according to expectations, or allows him to renegotiate if the league's "salary cap" increases with a new collective bargaining agreement or new television contract.
Such things are taken for granted in Cleveland, where people have learned to celebrate-while collectively holding their breath.
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